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Thread: Knobstone Trail

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    Registered User jorhawle's Avatar
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    Default Knobstone Trail

    I live in southern Indiana but have never hiked this wonderful trail. I don't even know much about it. Has anyone in this forum ever hiked it? If so, what is it like, I have hiked from Fontana to Clingman's Dome on the AT. Is Knobstone anything like it? How long does it normally take to hike the entire trail?

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    Registered User Micky's Avatar
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    I can't compare it to that section, but living as close as you do I would try it out. Try parking at Delaney Park. You can do one of several loops or hike south. Just remember it's hunting season.

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    Registered User bulldog49's Avatar
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    I hiked the entire 45 miles in 2 1/2 days. It's a very rugged trail with steep climbs, though obviously not as high or long as you encounter on the AT. There's just a lot of them. Scarcity if water can be an issue at this time of year as well.
    "If you don't know where you're going...any road will get you there."
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulldog49 View Post
    I hiked the entire 45 miles in 2 1/2 days. It's a very rugged trail with steep climbs, though obviously not as high or long as you encounter on the AT. There's just a lot of them. Scarcity if water can be an issue at this time of year as well.
    How is the maintenance on this trail? I know a few years ago there were a ton of blowdowns from a storm down there.

    For some reason I thought the Knobstone was longer than 45 miles. Am I confusing it w/the Tecumseh Trail???

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    Registered User bulldog49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tilly View Post
    How is the maintenance on this trail? I know a few years ago there were a ton of blowdowns from a storm down there.

    For some reason I thought the Knobstone was longer than 45 miles. Am I confusing it w/the Tecumseh Trail???
    I haven't hiked it for a number of years so I can't comment on it's current condition. When use to hike it blowdowns weren't an issue, it was well maintained.

    As for the mileage, there was a plan to extend it northward, doubling the mileage. I don't know if that has been started or not.

    Here is link.

    http://www.in.gov/dnr/outdoor/4224.htm
    "If you don't know where you're going...any road will get you there."
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    Registered User sloetoe's Avatar
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    Wow! I didn't know there were this many Indiana/close hikers on Whiteblaze! (I haven't visited much in the past many years... to scared to catch Springer Fever......)

    In any event....
    Is the KT like Fontana->Clingmans? As bulldog said, it's *rugged*. I always tell people it's a more-rugged 50 mile section than any 50 miles on the AT south of Killington. Up and downs that run 19,000' in 50 miles. The funny thing is, the footbed is nearly all dirt, so it's actually gentle on your feet. To hike it in 2.5 days, you're in goooood shape. (For what it's worth, I organize a run of the whole business every April -- the record is 9.5 hours. UGH. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kt50/ If you hit the files section, you'll see a nice Data file listing mileage, campsites, water, etc just as for the AT. Water can sometimes be a little iffy, but I've done okay in the middle of summer, and I don't filter or carry more than a liter at a time. Can't say that for the Hoosier Nat. Forest.... Oh, and the KT is "something like" 46 miles, but there's a figure-8 at the north end (Delaney Park), which you can work to burn a 50 out of it. Just watch that northern loop -- HA! It can kick your arse.

    SO WHO'S GOING TO THE GATHERING???

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    i'm in cincinnati and haventy heard of this trail where is it located and are there any more trails 30+ miles with overnight ares within the area ive got the gorge and shawnee forest hiked out and looking for a new place
    GRAVY

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    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloetoe View Post
    it's a more-rugged 50 mile section than any 50 miles on the AT south of Killington
    wow......ive drive right by it every thanksgiving and just cant see that.
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

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    Registered User bigmac_in's Avatar
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    The Knobstone is "rugged" for Indiana, but it doesn't compare to the AT. The main problem is the ups and downs, because there aren't a lot of switchbacks, it's pretty much straight up and/or straight down. But you are only talking elevation changes of 200 ft. +/-. Nothing like climbing out of Fontana.

    Water can be a problem, although there has been plenty of rain this year. It's basically a 3 day hike if you are going to thru-hike it. The total mileage varies because of the loops at the north end. The total mileage is 58 miles if you include the loops. It's 47 if you just take the northern most route. Watch out for the re-route on that loop. The Gov.'s excessive logging program has totally screwed up the trail in areas up there.

    Here is a nice website - http://www.knobstonetrail.net/Default.aspx

    It is the longest trail in Indiana. Another good one is the Tecumseh Trail, which is around 42 miles. There are several long road walks on this trail, however. It is a nice trail, however, and goes through some nice forest. I went through a section in the Yellowwood State forest a month or so ago where the logging had fouled up the trail here as well.

    Here is more info on the Tecumseh Trail -

    http://www.hoosierhikerscouncil.org/...tecumseh.shtml
    It's a great day to be alive !

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    Registered User Pak-Man's Avatar
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    The wife, dog, and I went out this past weekend. Started at Leota, and did an overnight 12 miles north to Oxely... Great section of trail, but watch out near Oxely " Timber Management " looks like a war zone.. Shame.

    Anyway great trail, hope to thru it maybe this Thanksgiving.
    "All that is important is this one moment in movement. Make the moment vital and worth living." Martha Graham

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    Registered User bigmac_in's Avatar
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    Indiana used to do "timber management". The current Gov. believes in scratching the back of the timber lobbyists - now it's more like "timber harvesting". There is no regard for recreational use of the forest. If you don't believe me, you aren't hiking enough of the trails in the state. It's really shameful, and I'm not totally against "timber management". But, believe me, there is very little management going on. . .
    It's a great day to be alive !

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    Registered User sloetoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Solemates View Post
    wow......ive drive right by it every thanksgiving and just cant see that.
    Put your left hand on the table in front of you. Put a quarter just wrist-ward of your first middle finger knuckle. That is the city of Salem, Indiana. Just below your thumbnail is Sellersburg/Louisville KT. The KT runs counterclockwise from south of your thumb around your hand, over each and every and each and every (did I mention there were a LOT of hills?) finger/knuckle along the way. From I-65, you get a glimmering off to your left that is easily ignorable -- some low hills is all you'll see.

    Big Mac sez (above) that the climb out of Fontana is harder than the KT... (Which part?) I think Big Mac should pop off that 10 miles north of Leota, and then 10 miles north of Fontana, and see which one he prefers for a workout. Me? I'd take easy-peasy Fontana any day.

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    Registered User bigmac_in's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloetoe View Post
    Big Mac sez (above) that the climb out of Fontana is harder than the KT... (Which part?) I think Big Mac should pop off that 10 miles north of Leota, and then 10 miles north of Fontana, and see which one he prefers for a workout. Me? I'd take easy-peasy Fontana any day.
    Done 'em both. I guess it is your definition of hard. I'll give you the KT section has much steeper uphills, but they don't last that long. What's the most elevation change 250 feet? There is plenty of time to rest, if your tired going up, just stop once. I just don't see the KT as that difficult. It's a 3 day hike.

    Just double checked my earlier post - I didn't even say the Fontana climb was difficult, only that the KT was nothing like that climb out of Fontana, which it isn't. That is a much longer climb, although not that steep. There is nothing like that on the KT.
    Last edited by bigmac_in; 10-06-2009 at 18:37. Reason: clarification
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    The Knob is more rugged in a more compressed fashion than most of the southern AT. Great trail. Not to mention Col. Sanders.

    TW
    "Thank God! there is always a Land of Beyond, For us who are true to the trail..." --- Robert Service

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    Good rugged trail. I've done the Delaney/Spurgeon Hollow loops twice within the last year or so (11 mile dayhikes). Last time there was late spring (going again in two weeks). Only one section of these loops was messy with blowdowns but instead of taking the reroute (along old roads) the group I was leading stayed on trail and made it through without too many issues. There are timber management areas to watch out for, and like many others have said, the KT goes up and down a lot with no switchbacks and very little water along the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gravy4601 View Post
    i'm in cincinnati and haventy heard of this trail where is it located and are there any more trails 30+ miles with overnight ares within the area ive got the gorge and shawnee forest hiked out and looking for a new place
    Seriously? You haven't heard of this one? You are on my hiking group and there is a hike there in a couple of weeks!

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    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorhawle View Post
    I live in southern Indiana but have never hiked this wonderful trail. I don't even know much about it. Has anyone in this forum ever hiked it? If so, what is it like, I have hiked from Fontana to Clingman's Dome on the AT. Is Knobstone anything like it? How long does it normally take to hike the entire trail?
    I've hiked both Knobstone and the Smokies.

    I find the Knobstone harder. Sure the climb out of Fontana is long, but it is a nice steady grade. The Knobstone just is relentless.....all day. Think a smaller Thunderhead all freaking day.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

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    Registered User sloetoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinMusic View Post
    Think a smaller Thunderhead all freaking day.
    Okay, *that* cracked me up!

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    Registered User bigmac_in's Avatar
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    OK - so you all have me questioning myself. It's been a long time since I hiked the southern portion of the KT. Is it the younger me that thought it wasn't so bad?

    Anyone want to hike the Leota to Elk Creek section the 14th of November? That's the first weekend I have open.
    It's a great day to be alive !

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigmac_in View Post
    Indiana used to do "timber management". The current Gov. believes in scratching the back of the timber lobbyists - now it's more like "timber harvesting". There is no regard for recreational use of the forest. If you don't believe me, you aren't hiking enough of the trails in the state. It's really shameful, and I'm not totally against "timber management". But, believe me, there is very little management going on. . .
    Hm, this really is too bad. I live in N IN, so most of what here is commercial farmland.

    The current gov does just seem to be into selling out the state. For instance, he recently sold the Toll Road to a foreign investor, and he was attempting to sell the South Shore rail line. I thought he was just trying to find things to sell in the northern part of the state because it tends to vote Democrat, but apparently that's not the case.

    I am not in never-never land, I do think that there needs to be forest management, ie wood harvest, the need for that resource is not going away. But it's too bad. Indiana, as a whole, really does not have that much woodland. It's covered in a big field of corn and soybeans. It seems like investing in recreation, in the long term, would actually produce more money in fees and people just vacationing/camping/hunting what have you instead of a flat fee for clear cutting.

    This is just me typing out loud.

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